Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches

Illuminations Newsletter Text-only version

Volume 10, Issue 1, October, 2010

Director’s Corner by Mary Allen, Director of Vision Services

On behalf of the staff at the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches, we proudly re-introduce the Illuminations Newsletter! The reinstatement of the newsletter has been a collaborative effort among staff, and future publications will include input from participants.

As you probably know, the Lighthouse has many wonderful programs and services already in place, but as we grow, we have been able to add services. The newsletter will serve as a method to inform participants and others about upcoming events, new programs, meeting announcements and more. The newsletter will be published several times throughout the year.

We hope that you enjoy reading the newsletter! Please let us know what you think and if you need extra copies. Illuminations will also be available on our website. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.


Employment Search Strategies Training

The Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches introduces their new Employment Search Strategies Job Readiness Classes. Four classes are offered to cover a broad range of topics in the area of pre-employment skills strategies. Each class is four hours. Transition students and adults are encouraged to attend.

“The Job Readiness Program was a worthwhile experience that I am certain will assist me in my job search. I was introduced to a whole new set of resume writing techniques that I now utilize. I especially appreciate the small group setting and individual attention that was provided to each client. It was informative with hands-on experiences that broadened my knowledge base and increased my confidence.” Cathy Koyanagi

Inside this issue:


1.   Director’s Corner & E.S.S Training

2.   Meeting Stevie Wonder & A Bright Future

3.   Rehab 101 & Calendar of Events

4.   Open House & White Cane Safety Day

5.   New Visions Support Group

6.   Low Vision Services & Recipe Corner

7.   Board of Directors & GoodSearch


Meeting Stevie Wonder by Anne Hatton


When I was a high school freshman, I had surgery for a detached retina. While recovering, I was listening to, “You are the Sunshine of my Life” by Stevie Wonder, a very talented musician and singer that happened to be blind. I was inspired by his talent and courage. Little did I know then that he would become such an inspiration to me. I would often reference him as I made my way on my own life’s journey. As a young teenager I had not yet grasped the full scope of vision loss from Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Now, let’s fast forward to the summer of 2010.

While returning home from summer vacation, my husband Travis and I had a layover at LAX. We were walking down a hallway when a side door opened and out stepped Stevie Wonder with his entourage! In those split seconds I had a decision to make. I asked his body guard if I could meet Stevie Wonder. The body guard told him there was a woman with a white cane. Stevie Wonder walked up to me and greeted me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek! I was just amazed. We talked about the types of technology and basic skills we use in our daily lives. He projected such a kind and gracious spirit. We had the common denominator of visual impairment and truly could relate to one another. I truly feel we both have joy and peace in our lives and accept what life has handed to us. I was blessed to be able to have this chance meeting with Stevie Wonder to let him know what an inspiration he has been in my life. I also told him about the wonderful training that I have received from the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches. I’ve learned everything from mobility to technology, most of all improving my self confidence, allowing me to do more in my life. Stevie Wonder sends, “Much love and God’s blessings,” back to the Lighthouse in West Palm Beach! I will never forget this moment and will always be reminded to keep moving forward. I hope I can be an inspiration to someone.


Visit Us Online!


Lighthouse Website Home Page


Facebook Website for Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches 

Lighthouse on Twitter

A Bright Future!

Each year, the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches reaches out to countless individuals residing in our five county area, who experience vision loss. Our services greatly depend on charitable support and private contributions. We would like to thank all of our donors who have been so supportive over the years. By supporting the Lighthouse, we are able to maintain our mission by providing quality services to assist persons who are blind or visually impaired to lead productive, independent lives.

All donations are tax deductible. To make a donation or to learn more about the Lighthouse Legacy Society, please contact the development office at 561-586-5600 or e-mail  

The Lighthouse is partially funded by the State of Florida Division of Blind Services.

“Having been in the service industry for over 35 years, and now having to deal with vision loss, the compassion shown to me was outstanding. I was amazed at the amount of information available to us and I now have the confidence to realize that my visual impairment is not a deterrent to being successful.” Timothy Casey

Calendar of Events

Lighthouse Gavel Club

Become a more-effective communicator and listener. Toastmasters International is dedicated to making better communication a worldwide reality. Come to learn about this exciting new club for blind and visually impaired adults. Meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 1:30 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. Please RSVP to Cathy-Alice Koyanagi via email at: or (321) 424-0721.       

Future Meeting Dates:
October 12 and 26, 2010            

November 9 and 23, 2010     

December 14 and 28, 2010          

January 11 and 25, 2011

February 8 and 22, 2011

Therapeutic Arts and Crafts

Please RSVP to (561) 586-5600. Meets on the third Monday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Future Meeting Dates:
October 18, November 18 and
December 20, 2010

For information regarding other events, activities and programming, please contact the Lighthouse.

Rehab 101

Do you have independent living skills questions? Our Vision Rehabilitation Therapists; Diane, Genie and Amanda are ready to provide answers. We encourage Illumination readers to submit questions by email, phone or mail. We will respond to your questions in our newsletter. We will provide advice to you about adaptations, aids and appliances, technology, as well as creative and innovative solutions for daily living. Please send questions to:

Topic: Opening Locks

Dear Lighthouse:


I'm having trouble getting my key into my front door lock, do you have any suggestions for making this easier. – Don’t like standing in the rain.


Dear Standing in the Rain:

Comfortably living in the Sunshine State certainly can be challenging with the sudden weather changes that we deal with from; heat, rain, and those nasty, unpredictable storms. Unlocking the front door quickly and easily is not difficult if you follow these steps.

1. Check the direction of your key for the smooth versus serrated side (teeth and notches) on the blade. Determine which side should be up or down. 

2. Insert your finger nail into the opening of the lock.  Bring the key to your finger nail and slide it to the right or left to guide the key and insert it into the lock.

3. Having trouble identifying your keys? Try marking the bow (exposed part of the key when inserted into the lock) in a tactile manner using Velcro, raised dots, alphabet letters, fabric paint, or glitter glue.

New Visions - Adjustment to Blindness Support Group

What is the New Visions Support Group?

Adjusting to vision loss can be very challenging for anyone. Even with the best support and resources, it is natural to experience depression, anxiety, concerns and stress in response to major life change. The support group is available to help individuals feel better and gain new life skills.

How can I benefit?

The group is facilitated by a licensed counselor who has training in grief work and is also visually impaired. The group is structured but also individualized to meet participant needs and goals. Each week group members have the opportunity to:

1.)                    Receive and give emotional support and encouragement.

2.)                    Gain information for living well with vision loss.

3.)                    Practice new skills related to their emotions, communication, lifestyle and goals.

How can I participate?

New Visions Support Group meets for six sessions at the Lighthouse for the Blind of Palm Beaches. Once a new group begins it is closed. Confidentiality is maintained. What is shared in the group is not shared outside of the group. For more information please call the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches (561) 586-5600.


Open House and White Cane Safety Day 
October 1, 2010


On October 1, 2010, the Lighthouse celebrated White Cane Safety Day and had an Open House. We had more than 50 people in attendance with every single chair filled! This was such a successful event and a great way to kick off the month in celebration of White Cane Safety Day. October 15, 2010 is the official day for White Cane Safety and many other agencies in our five-county area are having additional celebrations throughout the month.

Dianne Ketts, Certified Orientation and Mobility Instructor (COMS), of Lighthouse Central Florida, presenting to the group via Skype.

Larry McDowell, Anne Hatton and Gwendolyn Myers, who gave heartwarming speeches about their experiences with vision loss, as well as services that they have received through the Lighthouse and the Division of Blind Services.

Low Vision Services

By Dr. Scott Gartner

Approximately fourteen million Americans estimated to have low vision may be helped by specialized services provided by a Low Vision Specialist. Most patients can regain their independence and perform activities of daily living with the help of special glasses, telescopes, magnifiers and other adaptive equipment. Less than five per cent of people with vision impairment are aware that Low Vision Specialists can improve their quality of life, help them to remain independent and improve their safety in the home and community.

When vision is impaired from eye diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and stroke, it is always important to see an eye doctor to seek medical treatment. If the visual impairment continues to interfere with daily living tasks within the home, community and workplace, special low vision testing and devices may be used to improve independence.

The Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches is one of the few facilities in the area that provides these services. Low Vision Optometrist, Dr. Scott Gartner, provides the patient with every opportunity to maximize use of their remaining sight. The full service clinic provides low vision evaluations, prescriptions of the latest and most effective optical devices, hands on training and education in using these devices. Also, training to use the patient’s peripheral vision is taught at the center. The Low Vision department stocks a vast range of special optical devices, from powerful reading prescriptions to special lenses for distant viewing to newly developed electronic devices that enable people to “see” as never before possible. At the same time, low vision patients can take advantage of the other Lighthouse services to complement their optical aids, with skills taught such as personal & home management, orientation and mobility and assistive technology. To find out more about the Low Vision Clinic, or to make an appointment, please call the Lighthouse.


Recipe Corner

Abuela’s Black Beans
by Rosemary Mulero

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped green pepper

1 clove of garlic minced

1 16oz. can of Goya black beans

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

½ tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a small or medium sized pot. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute while stirring. Add the beans (undrained). Add the brown sugar, cumin, and cider vinegar. Stir, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve over rice. Enjoy!!!!


Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches

Board of Directors

Marvin A. Tanck, President and CEO

Stanley D. Klett, Chairman

John Banister, Vice Chairman

Ronald Albano, Secretary

David Stoller, Treasurer

Dr. David Cano

Dr. April Jasper

Dr. Mark Michels, MD, FACS

Allen Preston

Maurice Jacobson

E. William Quinette, Ed.D.


Illuminations is a publication from the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches.


This newsletter is produced by the Lighthouse and edited by Mary Allen, Lee Ruffin and Rachael Trinkowsky.



What if Lighthouse earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Well, now we can! is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results. Just go to and be sure to enter Lighthouse for the Blind - Palm Beaches as the charity you want to support. Just 500 of us searching four times a day will raise about $7,300 in a year without anyone spending a dime! And, be sure to spread the word!